The American policy of sending drones over Pakistan and Afghanistan in search of Taliban targets has become among the most controversial of the war against terrorism. This past weekend, a drone attack on a Taliban hideout in Pakistan resulted in the killing of over two dozen militants and destruction of a headquarters. The Taliban admitted: “we lost 28 mujahideen in the missile attack. The drone fired two missiles and several ‘guests’ are among the dead.” ‘Guests’ ordinarily refers to foreigners fighting on the side of the Taliban. This was an example of a successful drone attack, but many others invariably result in the death of innocent civilians which serves as a recruiting plus for the Taliban.
Perhaps, there is a way out of the current problem of drone attacks which come without consultation with Pakistan officials and then result in anger at the violation of the nation’s sovereignty. It might be necessary to create a joint command of trusted Pakistan officers and American air force personnel which would be responsible for authorizing such bombings. The problem is so many Pakistan military leaders are sympathizers with the Taliban so it is necessary to identify those who can be trusted in the Pakistan military.